My journey with chiropractic started in 2000. Having suffered chronic low back pain on and off throughout my teenage years I attended a chiropractor based on a personal recommendation. I had tried various other approaches with no real results. As a youngster I played a lot of football, and it was clear that I only had one foot! Having been examined by the chiropractor it was clear that the power and control of my left leg was dramatically worse than my right, pretty normal I thought, but then the chiropractor adjusted my neck and on rechecking my legs I could feel a huge improvement in the muscle strength. I went out later that day and kicked a ball about out of curiosity, miraculously I was knocking the ball around with my left foot in a way that previously I could have only dreamed of! Alright, I wasn’t Lionel Messi, but it was still a noticeable improvement. My mind was caught, how did this guy know that working on my neck would affect my leg muscles in that way? I had to look into this, so off I went to the University of Glamorgan to find out…
Before I got to Uni, I had some time on my hands, so I started reading about chiropractic. My resources were limited to the few books I could get my hands on. The aspect of chiropractic that interested me the most at that time was its philosophy. Natural, drug free hands-on healthcare, great. Vital energy running through the brain and spinal cord, impeded by misalignments of the spine, obviously. I was champing at the bit to get stuck into this at Uni, so I packed up my gear and set off for South Wales.
A lot of people say they absolutely loved university, best years of their lives etc. I’m not quite in that camp. I really enjoyed huge aspects of student life and studying chiropractic in particular. However, I found that the course did not really cover areas that I had expected. All the basic sciences and clinical studies were brilliant, I especially loved radiology, but there was not only an apparent lack of philosophy, there was a culture of discounting and ridiculing chiropractic, naturopathic and vitalistic philosophy within the programme. This really disheartened me, it seemed only a few of us were interested in this area at all. I got my head down with the attitude of ‘get the clinical skills, pass the assessments and get out there, you’re here for the qualification, learn the philosophy later!’.
After graduating in 2006, I ran my own clinic in Lanark full time until the end of 2018. I thoroughly enjoyed working with so many different people over the years. I very regularly attended post graduate workshops and seminars, developing a more integrated approach over those years, with a special interest in the relationship of the mouth to the function of the spine and the whole body. At times working along side specialist dentists and dental laboratories. I had been aware of Applied Kinesiology since my undergraduate days and in 2017 I finally got organised to attend their 100 hour course.
The Applied Kinesiology approach resonated with me instantly. I love the way that it ties together different perspectives on health, and allows me to work with people on a more individualised basis, supporting their health and healing structurally, nutritionally and mentally/emotionally.
As the chiropractic profession has become more and more identified with back pain, neck pain and headaches, I felt that as I was practising from a more functional integrated approach, being strictly a chiropractor was no longer a good fit for me. So I am no longer registering with the General Chiropractic Council. I am NOT a chiropractor any longer, from 2006 – 2018 I was, but now I am a natural health practitioner, an applied kinesiologist who can adjust spines as part of an overall health and healing plan.
I am a huge fan of chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy. I attend other practitioners myself when I need help, and I will continue to refer patients to other practitioners of all types when it is appropriate.